Jenni von Willich & Crusader Graduate Grade 1

Jenni von Willich & Crusader Graduate Grade 1

Jenni von Willich from South Africa graduated Grade 1 in the Straightness Training Evaluation Program. Jenni is a Mastery STudent in the ST Academy, and this month, she passed her Riding Grade 1 Touchstone with her gelding Crusader, and with that milestone, she has passed all 5 Touchstones in Grade 1. Congratulations Jenni, keep up the fabulous work in the Straightness Training Academy!

And thanks, Jenni, for taking the time to share your experience with the program:

❝ I discovered Straightness Training when I was searching the internet for help with Crusader, my horse that I had recently acquired at the time with the goal of competing in dressage. My problem at the time being that we were struggling to strike off on the correct lead in canter to the right or disuniting shortly thereafter. Right canter on the longe was near impossible.

Upon further investigation of Straightness Training, I found that my timing was perfect as Marijke de Jong was about to visit a local training center, namely Zaneta Georgiades’s yard, Cadence Equine Centre, as part of a tour around the Atlantic.

After the live introduction to Straightness Training, I can remember feeling so thankful for my find and looking forward to joining the Mastery program believing I had a solution to our problem and the rest of the training would surely be beneficial as well.

But I had absolutely no idea of the life-changing journey I was about to embark on!

Firstly our canter to the right is no longer an issue as through the progressive exercises we have practiced to assist Crusader in his natural asymmetry, this imbalance has already organically disappeared.

Furthermore, I have gained so much knowledge on absolutely every aspect of training horses. This program truly encompasses it all, which has led to a journey of self-mastery, as you cannot train effectively without examining, confronting, and subsequently growing on a personal level too and I am working hard at becoming a better version of myself.

I have learned to be absolutely present in our training sessions and strive to stay open and grounded which took a lot of conscious preparation and self-discipline initially as I would habitually get distracted from the present in the arena.

I love the fact the Mastery program is in no way static and is constantly evolving and being upgraded which really feeds my craving for learning and becoming a great trainer.

The Straightness training philosophies that have really resonated with me on my journey have been the fact that we train with the focus on the Essence of the Exercise and not just practice the name of the exercise as well as really focusing on keeping the Mind on the Muscle which relates to my own personal body awareness while training my body. This in turn has helped me to be more effective in my inner picture and inner feeling whilst training with Crusader.

A huge personal thrill that is developing of late has been discovering and feeling the magic of motivation in our training; by this I mean where I have progressed to actually recognize Crusader's input in an exercise we are practicing as well as his eagerness to give more than I had planned for but being aware enough to actually recognize him bringing his Best Aikido to an exercise and not missing it... I think that this is where the magic truly begins!

I am grateful for the input of everyone at the Straightness Training Academy for this amazing program and the energy that I cannot even begin to imagine must go into its continued global growth.
I am looking so forward to the next chapter of our Straightness Training journey and I cherish this milestone as my first. I shall strive to be aware and subsequently dodge many a hole as I walk down this next road and to remember that to avoid failure would be to avoid success.

~ Jenni von Willich from South Africa

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